Setting Our Children Up for Independence
As our children enter the world, they are completely dependent on us for everything. That's normal and we absolutely need to be sure we make room and space to meet those needs for feeding and diapering and face to face time.
As our children grow, they learn to do things on their own, such as feed themselves, walk, use the potty and dress themselves. While there's no reason to rush these milestones onto our children before they are ready for them, there's also no reason not to teach them and let go of the things they are able to do on their own.
Notice I said able. That doesn't necessarily mean willing. Children will often resist the ability to be independent in some areas (such as chores) and we need to work them into these areas.
Sometimes we can make it harder on ourselves by hanging onto the things our children know how to do or are even capable of doing. Sometimes we can think we're just trying to help -- and once in while is fine! But doing many things for our children they can do for themselves doesn't serve them well in the end.
When we talk about serving our children, that doesn't mean by making them helpless. It's not serving in the sense of doing everything for them. Serving our children is to teach and train and discipline and listen and offer wisdom.
Being independent doesn't mean we don't rely on each other or even help each other. In fact, teaching your children independence will train them how to serve others well. It begins by learning how to choose their clothes and dress themselves; to tie their own shoes, clean their room, fix a sandwich, do their laundry, and the list goes on.
As they learn to do these things for themselves it serves you to not have to do everything for them and it serves them by learning self-caring skills (to start with).
The bottom line is...don't do everything for your children. Teach them and allow them to do things for themselves.
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